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Cockatoo-Owning Stroke Victim Believed Murdered in His Chelsea Apartment

A cockatoo and his owner wait for clients to have their photo taken with the bird during an fair in the Serbian city Smederevo, 40 km east of Belgrade, on September 13, 2009.   AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Bolo probably nibbled on Laubach's hat, too. Sniff. (ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

On Friday night, a 57-year-old man since identified as insurance executive John Laubach was found trussed-up, semi-dressed, and dead in his Chelsea apartment. A close female friend who was checking in on Laubach discovered him in just a white undershirt, his arms bound to a bedpost by electrical cord, his feet bound as well, his mouth duct-taped closed, and a towel covering his face. While no cause of death is known, Laubach was recovering from a stroke, and no sign of forced entry indicates Laubach may have been killed by someone he knew. (Possibly complicated by the fact that the apartment was ransacked.) Laubach, who Post sources say was "formerly a company CEO" with "business and personal interests overseas," was well-liked in the neighborhood, often moseying about with his pet white cockatoo, Bolo, and frequently volunteering at a nearby church. "I always saw him walking around with a parrot on his shoulder," one neighbor told the Post. "He looked like Mel Brooks — just better looking."

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Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/2009 AFP